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Periodontitis ups risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

01 Jun 2018
Roughly one in three adults suffer from the gum disease worldwide

Periodontal conditions, such as a probing pocket depth (PPD) ≥4 mm, appears to be a risk factor for ultrasound-diagnosed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a recent Japan study has shown.

Multivariate logistic regression showed that periodontitis, characterized as PPD 4 mm, was significantly associated with the prevalence of NAFLD (odds ratio [OR], 1.881; 95 percent CI, 1.184–2.987; p=0.007). Age showed a similar trend (OR, 1.024; 1.005–1.044; p=0.014).

Other significant risk factors included diastolic blood pressure (OR, 1.050; 1.020–1.080; p=0.001), C-reactive protein levels (OR, 3.208; 1.625–6.330; p=0.001), low-density lipoprotein (OR, 1.040; 1.010–1.072; p=0.008), body mass index (OR, 1.470; 1.373–1.575; p<0.001), triglycerides (OR, 1.011; 1.006–1.017; p<0.001) and total cholesterol (OR, 0.968; 0.943–0.994; p=0.017).

Subgroup analysis by sex showed that the significant relationship of periodontitis with NAFLD prevalence was retained in females (PPD ≥4 mm: OR, 2.972; 1.107–7.979; p=0.031) but was attenuated in males (OR, 1.620; 0.945–2.777; p=0.080).

Moreover, researchers showed that periodontitis was significantly more common in patients with vs without NAFLD (86.7 percent vs 72.9 percent; p<0.001).

Overall, the findings suggest “that the presence of periodontal disease may increase the risk of NAFLD,” said researchers.

“The present and previous studies indicate the importance of periodontal examination in order to assess the risk of metabolic diseases in the health-check population,” they added.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study on 1,226 adults (median age 50 years; 63.0 percent male), of whom 887 had NAFLD and 339 had no NAFLD. Periodontal probes at six sites were used to measure PPD, while ultrasonography was used to detect NAFLD.

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